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Special to the Fatima Network
A November 26 - Associated Press report stated that Pope John Paul II is to visit Portugal's Fatima shrine on May 13 to beatify Jacinta and Francisco Marto, two of the three children who witnessed apparitions of the Virgin Mary in 1917.
The one-day visit to Fatima will be one of the few foreign tours undertaken by the ailing Pope next year, Portugal's Roman Catholic radio station Renascenca reported, quoting unnamed sources in the Vatican.
The official announcement of the visit will be made on Tuesday, November 30. An official at the Archbishop of Lisbon's office said he could not confirm the report.
The beatification was initially scheduled for April at the Vatican, but Portugal's Roman Catholic community was keen to persuade the Pope to hold the ceremony at Fatima.
Portuguese bishops traveled to Rome on Thursday to press the Pope to visit the shrine, which is in a rural area 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Lisbon. The 79-year-old Pope has visited this small Southwest European country twice during his 22-year papacy.
The Fatima Network will provide continual updates on this upcoming beatification. In addition, Our Lady's Apostolate will be organizing a pilgrimage to attend the beatification ceremony and visit the holy sites in Fatima on May 13, 2000. For more information, please contact us via phone at 1-800-263-8160 or e-mail.